Vanity Fair’s Brett Berk has detected a mini-pattern playing out in the film world, starring (but certainly not limited to) “Brüno,” Sacha Baron Cohen’s latest attempt at biting social satire. It’s “Pinkface” — or the cinematic phenomenon in which straight guys play gay by way of trying to “lay claim to homosexuality as a ‘topic’ ” with less-than-stellar results, judging by Berk’s sum-up of the situation.

Brüno’s not the first instance of Pinkface in recent memory (this is where we are obliged to invoke the unsavory specter of “I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry”), and it’s not the only recent release of its kind, as Berk points out, but it’s enough to drive the author to wonder, “What is it with straight guys?” What indeed.

Bruno’s schtick is straight-up Pinkface. He grabs hold of an easy gay target—a vapid fashionista—and then waves it in the air tirelessly for 83 minutes, like some underpantied go-go boy on a rainbow Pride Parade float. That’s not dancing, it’s not original, and it’s certainly not funny. [Ed. One of us begs to differ.] It’s obvious. The movie attempts to claim that he’s not just a minstrel, but an instigator and investigator—like Michael Moore, but less subtle—revealing the homophobia buried in American culture. Thanks, Bruno. I didn’t realize that rednecks, right wing presidential candidates, ultimate cage fighting fans, and evangelical Christian ministers who run post-gay training workshops—literally the gotcha’ pieces at the core of this facile movie—had an anti-gay bias. I appreciate your ferreting out that out amazing piece of news.

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